June 29th, 2017

Review: Red Dog

★★ The story on which Red Dog is based – the true account of a canine who rambled through the north-west of Australia in the 1970s – is curious, possibly even interesting. The film, however, is formulaic, laboured, generally unrealistic (which is amazing considering this is a true story) and features some awfully one-dimensional characterisation.

MIFF round-up: highlights and lowlights

Well, that’s all folks. The Melbourne International Film Festival is done for another year, and we can all crawl back into our burrows, load up on echinacea and try to recover just in time for the next film festival.I attended 30 sessions, slightly less than I had hoped for before the festival, but due to […]

MIFF day sixteen: My Wedding and Other Secrets, Bobby Fischer Against the World, Melancholia

My Wedding and Other Secrets (Roseanne Liang, New Zealand) In 2005 Roseanne Liang released a documentary called Banana in a Nutshell, chronicling her upbringing as an ethnically Chinese girl born in New Zealand and her relationship with her boyfriend, Stephen, a white New Zealander. Liang’s parents disapproved of non-Chinese boyfriends, so their relationship blossomed in […]

MIFF day fifteen: Innocent Saturday, The Triangle Wars, Client 9, Viva Riva!

I woke up on this Thursday morning barely wanting to drag myself out of bed, but one of the things I love most about attending MIFF is the sheer variety in films that you can see. My plan for Thursday included a Russian drama, two political documentaries (one local, one foreign) and a crime thriller […]

MIFF day thirteen: The Unjust

The Unjust (Bu-dang-geo-rae, Ryoo Seung-wan, South Korea) The first few minutes of The Unjust give off a huge Mission Impossible vibe; the combination of sweeping camera movements, rhythmic electronic music and a chase involving two cops and a crook all feel distinctly Hollywood in a way that you don’t normally see in a feature from […]

On criticism, blogging and entitlement

Film critics are an insecure lot. In the two weeks since I’ve been putting my own thoughts to (digital) paper here at Cinema Quest I’ve seen two local writers complain on Twitter about people not in the film criticism establishment attempting to critique film. The first was Anthony Morris, DVD editor of The Big Issue […]

MIFF day ten: Win Win, Senna, Bullhead, Guilty of Romance

Win Win (Tom McCarthy, USA) Mike Flaherty (Paul Giamatti) is the Dennis Denuto of his small New Jersey town. With business in a down-turn and unable to afford an I.T. guy, Flaherty is forced to fix his malfunctioning computer back-up system himself, between unblocking the toilet and attempting to find the source of a mysterious […]

MIFF day twelve: Michael

Michael (Markus Schleinzer, Austria) A chillingly non-judgemental profile of an Austrian pedophile and the 10-year-old boy locked in his basement, Michael is one of the most unique horror films in recent memory. And a horror film it surely is, depicting the domestic normality of Michael (Michael Fuith) and the captive Wolfgang (David Rauchenberger) as if […]

On heroes, sports and Senna

Mia Freedman ignited a storm of controversy with her comments on the Today Show last week about Cadel Evans’ triumph at the Tour de France. If you haven’t seen it, take a look here: Essentially she said that while Evans’ win was undoubtedly a fantastic sporting achievement, she took issue with the fact that people […]